‘The Activist’ pulled by CBS, to be reworked into documentary after backlash

The show was originally set to premiere in October on CBS and Paramount+

After major backlash, CBS is pulling their upcoming series The Activist, and plan on reworking it into a documentary.

Set to premiere this October, The Activist, a Global Citizen competition series was announced earlier this week. With UsherPriyanka Chopra Jonas, and Julianne Hough set to co-host, the five-week reality series was set to air on CBS and stream simultaneously on Paramount+.

(Credit: Getty Images)

In the official series description per Deadline, the show is, “a competition series that features six inspiring activists teamed with three high-profile public figures working together to bring meaningful change to one of three vitally important world causes: health, education, and environment.” Since the announcement of the series, however, it began to receive major backlash on social media.

On Wednesday, CBS and the show’s producers Global Citizen and Live Nation released a joint statement on the matter, announcing their plans to change the show’s format and removing it from the schedule for now. “The Activist was designed to show a wide audience the passion, long hours, and ingenuity that activists put into changing the world, hopefully inspiring others to do the same,” the statement reads.

“However, it has become apparent the format of the show as announced distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day. The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort.” The new version of the show described in the statement is said to, “showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in. Each activist will be awarded a cash grant for the organization of their choice, as was planned for the original show.”

In a statement on her official Instagram, Hough spoke out about the backlash earlier this week, thanking people for using their voices and “holding her accountable.” The backlash also brought to light Hough’s past controversies, including one in which she wore blackface for a Halloween costume. She wrote, “Wearing blackface was a poor choice based on my own white privilege and my own white body bias that hurt people and is something I regret doing to this day. However, the regret that I live with pales in comparison to the lived experiences of so many. My commitment has been to reflect and act differently.”

Check out the joint statement from CBS, Global Citizen, and Live Nation below:

A message from Global Citizen on “The Activist.” pic.twitter.com/CSODAwiIdR

— Global Citizen (@GlblCtzn) September 15, 2021

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